RiftSpace is a space exploration, combat game for Windows first released in 2004 by StarWraith 3D Games and released as freeware in 2008.
The game begins by creating a call sign at which point you're taken to the main screen where you can find all your stats, options, contracts, weapons, shipyard, and more. You can also find training here which we found helpful.
RiftSpace introduced freeform gameplay by letting the player select contracts, travel to other planets, and customize/upgrade their ship and their squadron's. A non-mandatory story was mixed with the freeform gameplay and gave clues to the player on how to locate a mysterious system known as RiftSpace. Otherwise, gameplay was entirely up to the player on where they wanted to travel and what objectives they wanted to complete. Players could also assign members of their squadron to complete objectives for them. This game also lets players load beam weapons, in addition, the particle weapons onto their ship simultaneously.
When beginning Riftspace, the player begins with the most basic ship, a second-level weapon (out of three), four Viper missiles (the second out of seven missile types) and 60,000 of the game's monetary system, which is not named in Riftspace. This form of money is usually referred to as credits. Throughout the game, it is possible to upgrade your weapon to the third type or downgrade to the first, which take more and less energy respectively and deal more or less damage, with a slower or faster rate of fire. It is also possible to obtain up to three wingmen, which have a skill and loyalty rating.
As the missions go on, they will request pay raises until their loyalty reaches 100, and their skill will gradually increase. Loyalty rating is used as a percentage factor to determine whether or not a wingman will leave upon return to wherever you obtained the contract. To progress past a certain point and obtain better ships and weaponry, it is necessary to leave the starting system and the protection of the Alliance and the Mercenaries Guild.
Each planet specializes in one or more areas; for example, weapons on the planet Deneb are much less expensive than on the planet Fauston. Outside Alliance territory, the player is likely to find more lucrative areas, but the contracts will be more dangerous. After following the clue trail and obtaining all of the artifacts (which lead the player on a wild goose chase to locate the rest, the last giving the location of the RiftSpace portal), the player may progress through the red wormhole leading to RiftSpace.
Once there, 9 Vonari guardians must be fended off, at which point the game will initiate a cutscene showing the player and any wingmen that accompany the player flying towards the planet, at which point a few lines of text appear at the bottom-left of the screen concluding the storyline. The screen then fades out, and the player is returned to the pilot selection screen.
We were able to test the game in Windows 10 in VMware, so the game should work for any operating system with minimal requirements.